A recent NJ Star-Ledger letter-to-the-editor pointed out that we all depend on government for one service or another. It was in response to Mitt Romney's comments about the 47% of voters that he said have an entitlement mentality because they depend on government for their needs. His letter is titled, Mitt Romney, we all get government help.
I left the following comments:
That "government help" is no such thing.
The highway system was funded by private money seized by force from private individuals who earned it, and paid out to other productive private individuals to build it.
The same holds true for schools, basic research, the space program, Pell grants, guaranteed student and small business loans, old-age retirement and healthcare funding (Social Security, Medicare), charity (Medicaid), and a myriad of other government spending programs. These functions are all funded by private individuals, and properly should never have been co-opted by government force.
The government's only role in any of this is as a political money laundering operation, with politicians taking unearned credit for them. It's all based on theft. Such is the nature of that so-called "government help."
The exception is veterans benefits. Maintaining a military is a proper function of government, which is to protect its citizens' individual rights. The military protects us from foreign enemies. Those who serve in the military rightfully deserve compensation. Veterans medical care, the GI Bill, and the like are a form of payment for services rendered and therefor legitimate. The same holds true for domestic police forces.
As to: "Every time you spend your Social Security check, federal pension or military or federal employee paycheck, you contribute to the growth of American business and industry."
This is Keynesian nonsense, and demonstrably false. We "contribute to the growth of American business and industry" only when we earn the money through productive work. As any honorable person knows, you can't spend what hasn't been earned. You can't consume before you have produced. Try eating a loaf of bread today, that you don't bake until tomorrow. Those government checks are money previously earned.
Yes, we all depend on government to protect out rights, lives and property. Any other kind of dependence is immoral and illegitimate.
It is critically important to understand the difference between the proper and improper functions of government. If we don't, then there is no area of human activity that the government can be stopped from co-opting, eventually leaving all of us dependent on "government help" for every aspect of our lives. That is, we will slide into a totalitarian socialist state devoid of freedom and prosperity.